Batch cooking help(6 Posts)
I'm currently on Mat leave expecting our first babies (2 of them!) in a few weeks.
I'm thinking of batch cooking some meals so we don't end up living on takeaways or ready meals when the babies arrive but I'm struggling for ideas.
So far I've thought of mince dishes e.g spag bol, chilli, lasagne, cottage pie but will the mash topping go funny?
Also ideas for quick, fresh and easy to prepare meals would be great too
Meatballs in sauce
Cottage pie (no the mash won't go funny)
Make some nice casseroles that you can have with mash. Slow cooked chicken, beef, whatever...you should be able to get several meals out of a big pan full.
You can even make portions of mash and freeze it - we defrost then reheat it in the microwave with an extra dob of butter and milk. Mash is good as it can be eaten one handed and it soaks up the gravy/sauces which otherwise drip on the baby's head.
The main thing is that food can be eaten one handed while you hold a baby in the other arm. So nothing that needs cutting with a knife, unless you want everything to be served pre-chopped like a toddler (which is fine, but a bit sad making if it turns into every meal). Also the big pasta bowls are good to eat of, fewer spillages.
I am a MoM (Mother of Multiples) honestly you will be tired and hungry so go for quick but filling. Anything pasta/rice based is great. Microwave rice is handy to go with chicken in a sauce or meatballs in a sauce. We also used instant couscous (ainsley harriot does nice ones) often in place of rice or potatoes.
Keep it simple and comforting.
Also most visitors will ask if you need anything, get them to bring dinner! It will make them feel good that they have helped you out and it will feel like a treat.
Good luck and congratulations on your twins, not double trouble they are double the joy
I still do loads of batch stuff - full time work plus toddler mean I want to maximise our time together so batch cook once DD goes to bed to free up family time elsewhere. This is my list, cheese sauce (Mac cheese) also freezes fine but I only do small amounts of that as my DH is anti cheese so only me and DD eat it.
Tomato 'base' sauce ie the celery/onion/carrot garlic, balsamic,sundried tomato purée normal purée plus chopped toms etc - can then add mince and basil for Bol, or add meatballs (can also freeze these ahead but defrost before frying), or beans, peppers, mince and chilli for chilli, or mince and chilli but much less sauce for burrito/enchilada filling, or add chicken breast (roast in foil parcel) plus peppers/
chilli for arrabiatta. Also curry, either British brown/fruity curry (like Homepride type thing) or Thai green made from paste and coconut milk, or 'posh' curry (proper Indian sauce). All taste totally different so feel like diff meals.
Easy meals - chicken or salmon wrapped in a foil parcel lob in oven serve with baby boiled potatoes and gravy/veg or coleslaw. Can also freeze the prepped foil parcel and cook from frozen (takes about 40mins though). Freeze stuffing balls, a sachet is too much for 2 anyway, and put your baby pots in the oven at same time as the roasting chicken parcels and you have an almost roast dinner.
Tray bake is another quick and easy one - chicken, chorizo, pepper,small potatoes, tomato, chilli flakes and paprika all thrown on a baking tray drizzle of olive oil and throw in oven.
I do a load of this
using 2.5kg good quality mince from Costco (mainly because it browns down nicely without ending up in big lumps) and scale up the recipe
But I omit the chilli at this stage, and freeze it in batches without the kidney beans.
Then defrost as required then either:
Add chilli powder and kidney beans for chilli con carne, serve with baked potato or rice
or add some dried mixed herbs and a glug or red wine as use as a spaghetti / pasta sauce with some parmesan grated on top
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